Since we opened in 2013, we have always tried to help our users by giving them more than just a food parcel. We have lent an ear and signposted them to additional support, and we hope that we have given them at least a little lift in their day. We know, however, that such additional support has been limited by our own knowledge and skills.
To address this we have commenced an initiative working in partnership with Perth Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) by accessing funds to pay for CAB resource – see contact details for CAB below. A full time Money Support Advisor is available to provide a dedicated support to people referred to the CAB by Foodbank staff and volunteers. While the initial support will focus on financial advice, welfare benefits, debt and energy advice, the adviser may also refer on for other types of advice where required.
The intention is that the initiative will not just provide advice to people but provide them with personal skills that can assist them in budgeting and debt management where these are issues.
The ultimate success of the initiative would be fewer people returning to the foodbank (or Perth CAB) for assistance in the future.